Statement: “We’ve now had over 30 pieces of legislation, not only out of the first committee but signed into law,” state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher said at a mayoral candidate forum Feb. 2.

Determination: True

Analysis: Fletcher, one of three high-profile Republicans running for mayor, has made an effort along the campaign trail to distinguish himself as a moderate.

In stump speeches, he touts an ability to build alliances with people often at odds with conservatives and cites a lengthy record of legislative victories in partisan-soaked Sacramento to back it up.

“We’ve now had over 30 pieces of legislation, not only out of the first committee but signed into law,” Fletcher said at a recent forum. “I’ve been willing to work with people, to listen to people, to focus on solutions, to treat them well, and I think that’s the approach our city needs right now.”

The number of bills signed into law caught my attention because it seemed like a lot for one legislator, especially for a member of the Assembly’s minority party, and because Fletcher has also previously cited authoring just 20 pieces of legislation to prop up his track record.

We decided the statement merited a Fact Check because Fletcher has repeatedly cited the number of bills as a metric of his ability to work across party lines and get things done.

Voters first elected Fletcher to the Assembly in November 2008.

At the forum, Fletcher didn’t specify whether he was talking about the number of bills he has authored or a broader range of bills he has authored or co-authored. He said “we’ve now had” and could’ve been talking about his office alone or a group of lawmakers.

There is a difference, though. Authors normally draft legislation and lead the political push to have it approved while co-authors play a more minor role. In some cases, all members of the same party become co-authors simply as a symbol of political unity.

According to state legislative records online, Fletcher has authored 25 bills that became law since 2009 and co-authored many more to exceed the 30 pieces of legislation he cited at the forum.

Of course, not all of the bills Fletcher has authored have been equally impactful. His stump speeches often highlight Chelsea’s Law, a crackdown on sex offenders. Some of his other bills are more commemorative. Four simply aimed to raise awareness of plasma protein therapies, adoption, viral hepatitis and the World War II generation.

He also didn’t necessarily play a major role in the legislation he co-authored. In 2009, for example, Fletcher and 36 other members of the state Assembly co-authored a bill expanding foster care services. Very few legislators opposed it on the Assembly floor.

Still, Fletcher has authored more bills that became law than the average Assembly member, according to an analysis of bills chaptered during his tenure. The state turned 1,321 Assembly bills into law in the last three years, or about 16 bills per Assembly member.

We’ve rated the statement True because it accurately describes the number of Assembly bills Fletcher sponsored that became law. He didn’t specifically say he was referring to bills he has authored or co-authored, so we counted both.

Even so, Fletcher authored the vast majority of the 30 bills he referred to and the number of bills he authored still stands above the average Assembly member.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for voiceofsandiego.org. He writes about local government, creates infographics and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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